Lucky Wish Mouse: Starting School: Clara Vulliamy
(Orchard Books, 2010)
DG has so far loved every single Clara Vulliamy book. And I mean loved. Ever since I first got The Bear With Sticky Paws (and was asked to read it a dozen times a day) and every book since. Muffin is adored and I find Martha all over the house where either DG or MG have ‘read’ the story to themseves. It’s hard to believe that we hadn’t read any of her books before this year, but we’ve been making up for it!
With that history it was actually with some trepidation that I introduced Lucky Wish Mouse, but I needn’t have worried. DG loves it as much as all of Clara’s books. “Mucky Miss Mouse” she says, in her three-year old near-lisp
There are three other Lucky Wish Mouse stories and I can see me collecting them all! Lucky Wish Mouse is a mouse with wings and ten tiny baby mice – the tinies. They all live in a teapot house and today they’re on a big adventure – their first day at school!
“We don’t want to go to school,” say the Tiny Twins, in very tiny voices. We want to stay at home.”
This book is full of all the lovely details that make Clara’s books a joy for small children – lists of things (“…ten tiny pencil cases…”); counting; attention to tiny details; and a calm and reassuring plot.
The Tiny Twins fears sum up all our fears of a new situation, and are perfectly encapsulated in the picture of them lost in a sea of mice. But Lucky Wish Mouse reassures them, and they have a wonderful time. The school room is a box of coloured pencils and wooden blocks make the play area. Clara is fantastic at re-imagining real-life objects for use in miniature: a stamp for a framed picture; a drink parasol as an umbrella; a dice for a seat… And I do wonder how many of the little boxes and dolls-house sized toasters (for example) are actually in Clara’s possession!
The school room is very similar to MG and DG’s foundation stage classroom (pre-school and reception) and with the Early Years Foundation Stage encouraging play-based learning before Year 1, this is probably the case of all (in England at least) children’s first experiences of ‘real’ school so sets a familiar environment in small children’s minds. Even with teeny tiny toilets too!
Best of all (for DG), the teenies go to school by balloon – what fun! Lucky Wish Mouse: Starting School was originally published in 2010 as Lucky Wish Mouse: All Aboard the School Balloon. The paperback edition reviewed was released on 2nd August 2012, and I’d definitely recommend for any children with back to school / new school jitters. DG is very excited to be going to pre-school properly in September!
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Lucky Wish Mouse Starting School by Hachette Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.